Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target in price war

Deja vu: Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target in DVD price war




The Associated Press
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. started another price war Thursday, trimming the online preorder prices of some upcoming DVDs following its price cut on books last month. And, once again, competitors and Target scrambled to match the prices.

It's the latest salvo in an ongoing online push by Wal-Mart designed to make sure everyone knows it intends to be the low-price leader on the Web, as well as in stores.

The retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., said late Thursday that it would lower the online prices of new DVDs such as "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and "Star Trek XI" to $10.

But when Amazon reduced some of its DVD prices to $9.99, Wal-Mart shot back by cutting its DVDs to $9.98 as of Friday morning. Target got into the act Friday morning, too. All three companies also sweetened the pot by offering free shipping for the DVDs being sold.

The goal of such tactics is to drive higher volume, said BMO Capital Markets analyst WayneHood. He noted that some businesses like Wal-Mart and Target can afford to lower their prices and still be profitable because of their low-cost distribution models.

But not all retailers appear to be engaging in the tug of war, as Best Buy Co., Barnes&Noble Inc. and Borders Group Inc. all had higher prices for some of the DVDs Friday.

That might cost them some sales, but also might not be a bad idea.

Hood said it is important for some of Wal-Mart's rivals to remain competitive on price, but that trying to undercut Wal-Mart, with its huge scope and buying power, is a losing game. The retail giant sells enough products in enough categories to make up for any losses on individual items that it uses to pull people into stores or onto its Web site.

"On an everyday basis, customers expect Wal-Mart to be the benchmark or standard for pricing," he said.

Wal-Mart, which generated more than $400 billion in sales last year, has been aggressively trying to stake its claim online. The DVD discounts and last month's book discounts are part of a series of maneuvers the retailer has taken to draw shoppers to its Internet home.

Wal-Mart's book price war with Target and in October saw the companies lower the online preorder prices on titles such as "Under the Dome" by Stephen King and "Ford County" by John Grisham. Prices dropped as low as $8.98.

As books in the price war have come to market, prices have gone up, though the sellers are still discounting them heavily.

Wal-Mart's DVD price cut follows its announcement late last month that it would reduce prices weekly on top-selling items from bananas to board games and hold those cuts through the holiday season. It is also offering more than 100 toys at $10 during the holidays.

Aside from the discounts, Wal-Mart has tried to drive people to its Web site with a massive boost to its online product offerings. In late August the company said it would allow outside retailers to sell nearly 1 million items — from baby products to sports memorabilia — on And in October Wal-Mart said it would start selling health and beauty products online.

Wal-Mart's stock fell 29 cents to $50.99 in afternoon trading, while shares of Target shed 7 cents to $49.63.'s stock gained $5.18, or 4.3 percent, to $125.79. The shares hit a 52-week high of $126.98 earlier in the session.


November 06, 2009 12:46 PM EST

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe